Savitri Devi was a philosopher, a religious thinker, and a tireless polemicist and activist for the causes of animal rights, European pagan revivalism, Hindu Nationalism, German National Socialism, and — after the Second World War — pan-European racial nationalism. She also sought to found a religion, Esoteric Hitlerism, fusing National Socialism with the Traditionalism of René Guénon and Julius Evola. All told, she was one of the most extraordinary personalities of the 20th century.
She was born Maximine Portaz born in Lyons, France on September 30, 1905. Her mother, Julia Nash was English, descending from Viking stock. (She claimed that the name Nash is derived from Ash, as in the World Ash Tree.) Her father, Maxim Portaz, was three fourths Italian from Savoy, one fourth Greek. Because of her mixed-European heritage, she identified herself simply as “European.” She also described herself as a “nationalist of all nations.”
For an account of her life and work, read R. G. Fowler’s tribute to Savitri Devi on her 100th birthday: “Woman Against Time: Remembering Savitri Devi’s 100th Birthday.” (Translations: German, French, Czech, Norwegian.)
Savitri Devi died on October 22, 1982 in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England at the home of her friend Muriel Gantry. For a sad account of her passing, see Muriel Gantry’s “The Last Days of Savitri Devi,” selected from her correspondence by R. G. Fowler.
For more information on Savitri Devi’s life, work, and influence see R. G. Fowler’s website The Savitri Devi Archive.
Counter-Currents has reprinted several works by Savitri Devi online:
- “Akhnaton on Racial Diversity,” an excerpt from The Lightning and the Sun
- “Cosmotheism in Savitri Devi,” an excerpt from Defiance
- “Feminism and National Socialism” in Greek
- “Gandhi: A Man Against Time”
- “History, Action, and the Timeless,” chapter 5 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
- “Hitlerian Esotericism and the Tradition,” chapter 10 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
- “Hitlerism and Hindudom” in Greek
- “In Memory of May 1st, 1945,” a poem written under the pen name Clara Sharland
- “Incurable Decadence,” chapter 11 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
- “National Socialism and Anti-Semitism,” an excerpt from The Lightning and the Sun
- “Paul of Tarsus, or Christianity and Jewry,” an essay from 1957. Norwegian translation here.
- “Race, Economics, and Kindness: The Ideal World,” chapter 11 of Impeachment of Man
- “Remembering Sven Hedin,” an excerpt from And Time Rolls On
- “The Religion of the Strong,” chapter 1 of Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne
Counter-Currents has also published or reprinted several works about Savitri Devi:
- Paul Brundsen, “Life is Worship: Savitri Devi’s Son of the Sun.” French translation here
- R. G. Fowler, “Enemy and Exemplar: Savitri Devi on Paul of Tarsus.” Translations: German, French
- R. G. Fowler, “Woman Against Time: Remembering Savitri Devi’s 100th Birthday.” Translations: German, French, Czech, Norwegian, Portuguese
- Juleigh Howard-Hobson, “After the Avatar, 1945,” a sonnet
- Alex Kurtagić, Review of Defiance
- Alex Kurtagić, Review of Gold in the Furnace
- Video: “Savitri Devi: Woman Against Time”
Savitri Devi is also quite widely tagged at Counter-Currents.
Five of Savitri Devi’s books are currently in print in English and available for purchase at Counter-Currents:
- The latest publication of Savitri Devi is Forever and Ever: Devotional Poems, the first volume of her previously unpublished writings, available in a limited, numbered hardcover edition of 200 copies as well as in a paperback edition.
- For her views on animal rights, vegetarianism, and Deep Ecology, see her manifesto Impeachment of Man.
- For accounts of her clandestine propaganda activities in Occupied Germany see Gold in the Furnace: Experiences in Occupied Germany.
- On her subsequent arrest, trial, and imprisonment, see Defiance: The Prison Memoirs of Savitri Devi.
- The best introduction to Savitri Devi’s life and work is And Time Rolls On: The Savitri Devi Interviews.
Counter-Currents has now taken over publication of the Centennial Edition of Savitri Devi’s Works. The next volume, due out before the end of 2014, is the long-anticipated republication of the complete and unabridged edition of The Lightning and the Sun.